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Still On Gmail’s 2-Step Verification In Nigeria

2-Step VerificationI still do not know why Gmail’s 2-Step Verification is not supported in Nigeria. I published a work around to this in an article last year (see the link here) but it was very short-lived. I would want to believe that it was a mere coincidence but a few weeks after the publication, Google disabled the workaround.

As it is, nothing short of getting a mobile SIM card from one of the supported countries will do.

In this era of SIM card roaming, it is quite possible to use a foreign SIM card in Nigeria. Many of these networks have mutual roaming agreements. However, the key point here is to ensure that you meet the minimum requirement of maintaining such SIM cards to prevent them from running out of their validity period.

I have a Pay-As-You-Go SIM card from T-Mobile (USA). The minimum requirement to keep this line is a $3 monthly fee which lets me keep the number from month to month. With this network’s roaming agreement with Etisalat Nigeria, you can receive text messages for free but pay a token (i think 15 cents) to send messages.

This is a perfect arrangement to receive Gmail’s 2-Step Verification codes on your phone.

Modalities for getting these foreign SIMs vary from country to country. Let us chat about this. You may leave your comments below.

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Your Digital Afterlife: Password Management Beyond the Grave

Screenshot-642x455Most people do not print photos anymore, or bank statements, or much of anything, really. If you were to pass away suddenly, would anyone in your life know how to access the digital equivalent of the dusty scrapbooks and filing cabinets of yesteryear? That morbid question begins to surface more and more in our society as people contemplate their now-paperless lifestyles.

Digital Things Are Valuable Too

Now that we do not print or write as many thoughts or images from our lives in journals and scrapbooks, we may not realize the value of our digital possessions. Something as abstract as a digital image on your Facebook account may not seem to be of great worth, but if you were to suddenly pass away, your survivors would value the content on your social media sites very highly, perhaps especially online photo storage sites like Picasa where joint memories are preserved.

Email accounts can offer wonderful chronological records of anyone’s life and family members may want to access your Yahoo, Google and other accounts. Many email services automatically terminate accounts after a few months of inactivity, and your family members may or may not be able to gain access, even with all of the required paperwork.
On the more practical side, there are checking accounts, credit card accounts and all sorts of other secure password-protected sites you use every day that your family will need to be able to access when you pass on.

What Can Be Done To Protect Them

Every password-protected site handles your data differently when you depart. Here are some things to consider in planning for your digital afterlife:

  • Google’s Inactive Account Manager allows you to predetermine much of what will happen with the contents of your Gmail account if you stop using it. If you stop signing in, Google will send a message to someone you trust (designated by you), who will be able to access photos and messages you designate after a period of time you determine.
  • Using a password-management application simplifies your life in so many ways, but it can complicate your afterlife if you are not careful. You must tell someone your master password if you want them to see the content on sites you use your online password manager to access. PasswordBox stands out among the best password managers we reviewed for its Legacy Vault feature. You can designate a digital heir who will be given your secure password and access to all of your sites after verification of a death certificate.
  • Some people still opt for physical storage – making a physical list of all their usernames and passwords and storing them somewhere safe. You would need to tell your loved ones of your plan in advance for this to be effective, though.
  • You can put your passwords in your will, but it is worth noting that wills eventually become public record by law. That could leave an opportunity for criminals to access your accounts.
  • If you are looking to keep in touch from beyond the grave, there are some truly bizarre options. Twitter’s _LivesOn feature, complete with the motto: “When your heart stops beating, you’ll keep tweeting,” will make it seem as though you are still sending out tweets after you are gone. Similarly, the if i die Facebook app allows you to record a message that will be published in various multimedia platforms posthumously.
  • Your iTunes collection is comprised of materials licensed to one person to use – you – so your family will most likely not be able to access those songs and movies when you go.

There isn’t one simple solution to handling your digital assets after death, but a little planning now might save your loved ones some time and trouble. You will not be around to see the effects of your planning or lack of planning regarding your digital possessions, but if you want to save your family additional stress after you die, it is at least worth some thought.

 

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A Case Study of e-Commerce In Nigeria: Why It Pays To Own A Shop Online!

I have previously written about the rise of e-Commerce in Nigeria and how you can profitably take part, so in case you missed out, you can read it here.

Consider this a follow-up article as I will be sharing with you first hand my own experience of how I made close to a million naira within 3 months of owning a shop online!

How It All Began…

My first experience with e-Commerce was selling my business consulting and internet marketing services through my blog naijapreneur.com

Then in January 2013, I came across Kaymu while it was still in its early stages trying to break her way into the Nigerian eCommerce terrain. It didn’t take me long to see the market potentials of such a platform where sellers can be connected to over 60 million Nigerians online. I instantly became a kaymu evangelist. This is partly due to my passion for entrepreneurship development in Nigeria and my successful experience with e-Marketing.

My 1st Month Selling Online

I own a boutique business where I sell both male and female clothing and shoes. So I decided to create my own shop online to test run kaymu and listed the shoes on the platform, this was in February. Oh and if you are wondering why I listed only shoes and left out the clothes? Well, shoes are far easier to snap than clothes. Before the month ended, I was able to sell one shoe despite 5 orders, only one buyer followed through to pickup and paid cash –N3000. This wasn’t so bad since Kaymu opened to the public in February.

 My 2nd Month Selling Online

Towards the end of February, I decided to expand my shop on kaymu to sell in another promising category other than fashion –phones and tablets. Since I didn’t sell phones and tablets, this was made possible by one of my e-Marketing clients who proposed a partnership. I help sell their phones and tablets online through kaymu and earn commissions on every sale.

So because of this collaboration, in March I sold one Blackberry Z10, an iPad4 and a Tommy Hilfiger shoe for a total of N223,000. Not bad huh?

My 3rd Month Selling Online

April was the best month ever, all of the marketing initiatives where falling into place and people were becoming more confident in the brand due to the number of successful deliveries and safe transactions recorded. So in April, I sold 7 Smart phones and 5 male shoes for a total of N613,547!

The total?

February – N3000

March – N223,000

April – N613,547

Total = N839,547

 

Why It Pays To Sell Online

  • ecommerceBesides the number one obvious fact that you get to reach a whole lot more people through an online shop, the most significant reason for me is the 24hrs 7days a week operational nature of an online shop. There’s practically no closing time online, you can be making sales while you sleep!
  • Reducing overhead costs is one other reason why selling online is so super smart. You don’t have to bother about shop space, on the internet there’s unlimited shelf space. The amount of items you can sell is unlimited. As you just saw me explain, I expanded from just selling male shoes to selling smart phones and tablets and it didn’t cost me additional rent!
  • And my personal favorite, growing your brand has never been easier. Online you connect with millions of people you would never have been able to sell to offline. And the bonus part, they become your customers as well not just kaymu’s customers because they buy from you directly not from kaymu.
  •  Safe transactions is another advantage you get by selling on kaymu. Unlike other free classified sites, kaymu is much more than a free classified site. It is an actual e-Shopping mall where you can buy from so many trusted retailers who have physical shops offline. On Kaymu, you are buying from real businesses not just some random individual who has something to dispose.

Over to you

You’ve read my story and as many naijapreneurs have come to know me for, I hardly share what I haven’t personally applied. My own approach to marketing is simple; “don’t tell people what you will do, show them what you’ve done. Why? Because results sell faster than words!”

If this isn’t sufficient proof that Nigeria is in the early days of a heavy e-Commerce boom, then you can choose to ignore this article. But if you are among the few wise ones, you will get in now while many are still contemplating and begin to reap the rewards of selling online. Here’s an invitation, click here to start!

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Embracing Employee – Acquired Smartphones Without Compromising Security

This article was first published in Diary of a Geek on April 20, 2011

EspionageIf your capacity as an IT professional involves dealing with people in your office going on the road with mobile devices and bemoaning policies that keep them from accessing the company’s network because of pesky security protocols, then my heart goes out to you. It’s rough trying to balance the legitimate needs of a staff trying to maximize its ability to get a job done and the often bureaucratic rigamarole of office directives that seem to be counterproductive to what should be a goal shared with that same staff. People want to work smarter, not harder, and being part of a team should support — not stifle — that goal.

In the past decade (and especially in just the past few short years), the mobile phone has become more common among the general population and less of a company-issued “perk” — and, therefore, less under the reign of strict policies that your company may have instated in the past regarding the use of such devices. It just makes sense that you, as an IT professional in charge of enforcing the integrity of your company’s security initiatives, want to be kept up to date on your options with an ever-changing set of rules in an ever-changing game. So when on-the-go people at the office increasingly voice a desire to use their own smartphones to take part in mission critical (but top secret) company communication, how do you embrace the use of employee-acquired smartphones without compromising security? BlackBerry may not be the first company that comes to mind when you think of smartphones today, but it inarguably has more experience in the field than many of its contemporary contenders. So when BlackBerry has an opinion on the matter and offers free advice to IT professionals who have an ear to listen (well, in this case, an eye to read. Maybe even two of them), you may find it worth your while to see what the company has to say.

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Be Your Own Boss: How To Startup Your e-Commerce Business

The traditional cost of developing an e-Commerce site is so large that most small businesses are unable to afford one. And then follows the cost of successfully marketing the existence of such site, which is also quite expensive. So what’s your best option?

Own a shop online!

There are a couple of e-Commerce sites that now serve as online marketplaces where buying and selling is done between individual buyers and sellers or corporate buyers and sellers. These online marketplaces are designed to showcase your goods like you would normally do in a physical store. They have huge marketing budgets that allows them reach as many people both online and offline.

A typical example and the pioneer of such online marketplaces is eBay –the world’s largest online marketplace. The success story of several eBay merchants/sellers who turned millionaires as a result of trading on the eBay platform is enough proof that owning a shop online works. eBay has its branches in so many countries worldwide, but not yet in Nigeria.

Fortunately, there is an eBay clone now in Nigeria and it’s currently the largest online marketplace for buying and selling the smart way –it’s called Kaymu. The parent company; Rocket Internet is known worldwide as the leading e-Commerce incubators and have successfully started over 50 internet-based ventures worldwide. As a matter of fact, the eBay clone they started in Germany did so well that eBay couldn’t help but buy it over!

 ecommerceTo show you how big Kaymu is, even Jumia currently the largest online retail site has a shop on Kaymu. Recognizing this business opportunity, I decided to give it a shot last month and opened up the online version of my boutique business on Kaymu. Guess what? I sold 3 shoes within the first week I listed them on Kaymu auctions and have sold another 3 more using the fixed price selling options. That’s a total of 6 shoes in one month, not bad for a start!

Here’s How Kaymu Works For Sellers/Merchants

  • A seller lists an item [new or old] on Kaymu for FREE, almost anything from smart phones to laptop accessories, books to rare coins, etc.
  • The seller chooses to accept only bids for the item [an auction-type listing] or to offer the “Fixed price” option, which allows buyers to purchase the item right away at a fixed price.
  • In an online auction, the bidding opens at a price the seller specifies and remains on Kaymu for a certain number of days. Buyers then place bids on the item. When the listing ends, the buyer with the highest bid wins and gets the item.
  • In a “Fixed price” listing, the first buyer willing to pay the seller’s price gets the item.
  • Arrange with the buyer a suitable delivery option such as; shipping, physical pickup or payment on delivery = sales!

Here’s How To Own A Shop Online FREE Using Kaymu

There are 2 options you can start from depending on your preference.

First, if you are a retailer who already buys and sells offline through a physical shop, Kaymu is simply your online shop to showcase what you are selling already offline. If you fall into this category, Click here to sign up for a FREE online shop That’s what I did with my boutique business since I already own a physical store where I sell unisex clothing for male, female and kids. Visit the MADphilips shop online and do patronize us.  We have the lowest prices for smartphones!

Second, if you don’t own a shop offline and would like to take advantage of this opportunity by selling other people’s goods online through the Kaymu platform, follow the steps below.

  • Click here to sign up for a FREE online shop
  • Decide any product [new or fairly used] of your choice that you would like to sell on your online shop
  • Look for a company [manufacturer], store or seller around you who would like to increase their sales [trust me, everyone does]
  • Introduce yourself as an internet marketer who can help them sell more via the internet through your online shop
  • Negotiate a discount on the product[s] so that you can make a profit selling them on your online shop
  • Take clear pictures of the product[s] with a phone or camera to display on your online shop
  • Head over to your online shop and list the product[s], the pictures and their prices so potential buyers can contact you directly via email or phone
  • Arrange with the buyer a suitable delivery option such as; shipping, physical pickup or payment on delivery = sales!

Your Turn

Head over to Kaymu and click on the register link to claim your shop online, FREE!